New survey backs BBC Scotland News output

A six-month review of news and current affairs programmes, one of the biggest undertaken into news broadcasting in Scotland, has revealed "high satisfaction" with BBC Scotland's existing output.

The review - which involved a series of public meetings, specialist consultative discussions and a major face-to-face survey involving more than 1,000 people throughout the country - showed "strong appreciation" of the current range of programmes, but also an appetite for additional services.

These include Scottish news on digital platforms, localised news content on radio and television to reflect the regional diversity of Scotland and landmark programmes to highlight important issues and examine them in more depth.

Research revealed a high level of satisfaction with the current news proposition between 6pm and 7pm on BBC One, particularly the flagship 'Reporting Scotland' programme.

Although 38% of respondents indicated interest in the 'Scottish Six' concept, which would integrate Scottish, UK and international news into one programme, 45% favoured the current format, with 17% having no view.

Against this background BBC Scotland is not proposing change to the 6-7pm news hour.

The review, whose findings were supported by the Broadcasting Council for Scotland at its meeting on December 5, also found high levels of appreciation of the Newsnight Scotland programme on BBC Two.

Among regular Newsnight viewers, 74% want the current format to stay as it is, with only 8% wanting the Scottish opt-out dropped altogether. Newsnight Scotland will continue in its current slot.

BBC Scotland Controller John McCormick said: "This is the most comprehensive review ever undertaken into our journalism and the key finding is the high level of satisfaction with the range of programmes we provide.

"At the same time it gives us a number of pointers as to how we can strengthen and develop our output and we'll now address these in the year ahead."


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